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How to handle asthma in polluted cities

Reviewed by

Team Resolve

February 6, 2022

How To Handle Asthma In Polluted Cities

With the ever-increasing pollution in metro cities, people are subjected to higher risks of getting respiratory diseases. One of the major ones among the respiratory diseases is ASTHMA. Air pollution can worsen the conditions of asthma patients which can further trigger frequent asthma attacks. School going children, college going students and working individuals who are exposed to the air pollution frequently have higher chances of getting this disease. As we all know that ‘precaution is better than cure’ so it is our responsibility to take precautions before going out. It is also essential to spread awareness and educate other people so that everyone can have a better chance at living.

Table of Contents

Asthma

Asthma is a serious life threatening chronic respiratory disease that affects our lungs and breathing mechanisms. The air passage becomes inflamed, narrowed and swelled. It produces more mucus which makes it difficult to breathe.   There are about 30 million people in India suffering from asthma. Among them, 2.4% are adults and 20% are children. From the statistics it is clear that children are more prone to have asthma. It is the responsibility of the parents and the family members to take good care and go for regular health check-ups.   Asthma can be minor in some cases while in others it may be life-threatening.  It can be treated if diagnosed. Patients are often provided with inhalers and medications. (note: it is advisable to contact a doctor before trying out the medications)

Symptoms of asthma:

  1. Short of breath
  2. Frequent wheezing when exhaling
  3. Stiffness in chest or pain
  4. Eyes turn red 
  5. Excessive coughing and wheezing.

Causes Of Asthma

Air pollution:

  • Air pollutants: The major cause of asthma is air pollutants and irritants such as smoke, dust, smog and smoke emitted from vehicles which contain harmful chemicals like nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxides, carbon dioxides and volatile gasses.



  • Ground level ozone layer: we are all aware of the ozone layer that protects us from the harmful UV radiations of the sun. Surprisingly, there is another ozone layer close to the ground, which is formed when chemicals from cars, chimney exhausts, smokes of power plants get mixed up with the sunlight. This ozone-pollution causes more damage to our respiratory system and can trigger the process of asthma attacks.

 

All the air pollutants and irritants block the air passage and cause inflammation which causes wheezing and difficulty in breathing.

Air borne allergens:

Air borne allergens like pollens, pet dander, particles of cockroach wastes, dust mites and mold spores.

 

Other factors

Other factors that are responsible for causing asthma are:

  1. Heavy physical activities
  2. Exposure to cold and chilly air.
  3. Respiratory infections caused due to common cold.
  4. Tension and stress
  5. Certain foods like shrimps, brinjal or preserved foods that contain preservatives can also trigger the process of asthma.
  6. Certain medicines, beta blockers, aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs. (note: it is advisable to contact a doctor before trying out the medications)
  7. Taking beverages like alcohol can affect the process.
  8. Genetically derived; if a person  has asthma patients in the family.
  9. Often in case of acidity.

How To Prevent Asthma Caused Due To Air Pollution

If a person has asthma or has the chances to acquire it, they should take all the necessary precautions to avoid it. Air pollution being the major cause of asthma, leads to many fatal cases. So, here are few precautions that one can adapt to protect themselves:

 

  1. Avoid going to places with lots of vehicles and smoke.
  2. Going in near vicinity of tobacco smoke can further degrade the situation.
  3. Staying away from chimney exhausts and power plants.
  4. Wearing masks.
  5. Trying to keep the nose area covered and wearing sunglasses.
  6. Not inhaling flower smells or going in near contact with plants. Staying away from pollen grains, animal dander, dust mites, etc.
  7. When having excessive coughing and sneezing, drinking water can help to keep the throat hydrated and not feel scratchy. 
  8. If a person has asthma, it is better to carry the inhaler and medications. (note: it is advisable to contact a doctor before trying out the medications)
  9. If the person is an asthma patient, they should take their medications properly. (note: it is advisable to contact a doctor before trying out the medications)
  10. Once a year, a full health check-up should be done.

 

What Can Be Done At Home

  1. Using an air purifier on days when the air quality is too poor can help.
  2.  Keeping the house clean to get rid of any dust and molds.
  3. It is better to keep the windows closed on days when the air quality is poor.
  4. Keeping the pets clean and not going in near contact with their furs.
  5. The patient should avoid cooking smoke and lighting the fireplace frequently.
  6. Avoiding doing heavy tasks and exercises
  7. Doing regular light exercises to stay healthy
  8. Having caffeinated coffee: the caffeine in coffee is seen to help asthma.
  9. Having warm honey tea.
  10.  Essential oil: certain essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties. Some of them are eucalyptus and lavender essential oils. One can use it while showering. Dropping a few droplets of the oil in the bath water. One can also spray some on their pillow before sleeping.
  11. Breathing exercises, yoga and meditation can help calm the tension and stress.
  12. Avoiding foods that the person is allergic too
  13. Foods like beet, apple, turmeric, etc help to keep our lungs strong and healthy. Intaking these foods can be beneficial.
  14. Going for regular medical checkups.

Treatment Options Prescribed By The Doctor May Include

If a person is suffering from asthma, the doctors might prescribe the following medications:  
  1. For quick relief: inhaler: inhalers contain corticosteroids. This shows their maximum effect if used for weeks or months as prescribed. Unlike oral corticosteroids, inhalers have minimum side effects. (note: it is advisable to contact a doctor before trying out the medications)
  2. Oral medications: oral medications include Zyflo, Accolate, Singulair, etc. They help to relieve the uncomfortable feeling. (note: it is advisable to contact a doctor before trying out the medications)
  3. Combination inhalers: this contains corticosteroids along with long-acting beta agonists. These are usually recommended in serious cases. (note: it is advisable to contact a doctor before trying out the medications)
  4. Theophylline: it is a daily pill that helps to keep the airway and the muscles around the airways relaxed. (note: it is advisable to contact a doctor before trying out the medications)
  5. Short-acting beta agonists: these are instant relief medications. They include ProAir HFA, Ventolin HFA, Xopenex and Xopenex HFA. (note: it is advisable to contact a doctor before trying out the medications)
  6. Anticholinergic agents: they act quickly and immediately relax the airways, making it easier to breathe. These are generally used to treat emphysema and bronchitis but can be used for treating asthma too. (note: it is advisable to contact a doctor before trying out the medications)
  7. Intravenous corticosteroids: in severe cases, patients are often injected with corticosteroids for a rapid effect. (note: it is advisable to contact a doctor before trying out the medications)
  8.  Regular breathing exercises: certain exercises recommended by the doctor will help to keep the air passage elastic and flexible.
  9. Doing yoga and medications: doing yoga and medications can help to calm the stress and tension which in turn won’t produce any agitation.

Disclaimer

The above-mentioned remedies and medicines; are over the counter medicines (most of them) and are effective in most cases. It is advisable to contact the doctor before taking any medications.

Why Should Someone Choose Resolve360?

  1. Resolve360 is a promising online platform, where one can receive treatment at the comfort of their own home. 
  2. Sick patients don’t need to worry about traveling long distances to get them diagnosed.
  3. The patients can save up the time and can utilize that time to take care of themselves.
  4. Live sessions are conducted so that the patients can have a face to face interaction with their assigned doctors. 
  5. Building trust is really important. So, we always try our best to provide the maximum support to the patients to make them feel comfortable. 
  6. We always schedule the timings of the meetings on the basis of the patient’s preference. Rescheduling can also be done if there are any problems.
  7. When a patient comes to our doctor it becomes the responsibility of our doctor to give them a healthy life.
  8. We guarantee that the doctors will never leave their patients. 
  9. The patients can openly talk about their problems and we assure that the information will be between the patients and the doctors only. 
  10. Our doctors plan each and every step necessary for their patients, starting from planning out exercises to drafting their diet charts. 
  11. The doctors on the platform are extremely reliable and are certified professionals with experience. 
  12. It is a platform that provides solutions to every problem, starting with home remedies to prescribed medications. 
  13. The patient’s trust is our confidence!

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